Galatians 5:2-12 “Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough” I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!”
One thing I took new from this is, Paul tells them they can’t just accept circumcision as something they should do. By accepting that it meant they accepted the whole law. They couldn’t just accept part of it.
This made me think of people who dabble in the occult, or new age. They think it’s not all bad, that they can pull some harmless or fun things out to believe or take part in. (Horoscopes for instance.) But, in some things, and I believe God and salvation are two of them, there is such a thing as only black and white, no shades of gray.
Paul says a little leaven, levens the whole lump.
The other thing I took from this section is; love is an outcome of our faith. And our faith can be measured by how much we love. And he tells us this in the next verses:
Galatians 5:13-15 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
A commentator called this Paul’s track. After flights of thought he reduces it down to something an ordinary man could understand and do. We have not become free to sin, but free not to sin. And only the Holy Spirit makes us selfless enough to love others. We can’t do it ourselves.